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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/109

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 87 order already described, until he reached a very large and splendid palace, in which we were to be quartered, which had been fully prepared for our reception. He there took me by the hand and led me into a spacious saloon, in front of which was a court, through which we entered. Having caused me to sit down on a piece of rich carpeting, which he had ordered to be made for his own use, he told me to wait his return there,* and then went away. After a short space of time, when my people were all bestowed in their quarters ^ he returned with many and various jewels of gold and silver, feather- work, and five or six thousand pieces of cotton cloth, very rich and of varied texture and finish. After having presented these to me, he sat down on another piece of carpet they had placed for him near me, and being seated he discoursed as follows : — " It is now a long time since, by «means of written records, we learned from our ancestors that neither my- self nor any of those who inhabit this region were de- scended from its original inhabitants, but from strangers who emigrated hither from a very distant land ; and we have also learned that a prince, whose vassals they all were, conducted our people into these parts, and then returned to his native land. He afterwards came again to this country, after the lapse of much time, and found that his people had intermarried with the native inhabit- ants, by whom they had many children, and had built towns in which they resided ; and when he desired them to return with him, they were unwiUing to go, nor were they disposed to acknowledge him as their sovereign ; so he departed from the country, and we have always heard that his descendants would come to conquer this

  • They sat like Asiatics oa the floor, in a recumbent posture, or on a carpet.— L.